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I'm looking to optimize my Mathematica script, and I'm willing to go spelunking with low-level system options.

The problem is that I've been looking in the Mathematica documentation, but there doesn't seem to be any description about what options do what and how they affect certain routines. Some of the variables in SystemOptions[] are named well enough that one could guess from the context, but other variables are not obvious.

Does anyone know of any website(s) that contain(s) this kind of information? (I've looked for several hours--promise!) :-)

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know of any website which documents all these. You'll find bits and pieces in posts on this site and the old MathGroup. Before changing system options, have you tried these ideas? I doubt that it's possible to achieve any dramatic speedup by changing system options, except maybe in very special cases. $\endgroup$ – Szabolcs Mar 6 '15 at 20:42
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with Szabolcs. You could search this site for examples of SetSytemOptions being used, but I think there will be far fewer examples than there are options. If you can identify the bottleneck in your code you could ask a specific question about improving its performance. $\endgroup$ – Simon Woods Mar 6 '15 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the responses. I'm doing entirely symbolic math, so I'm already going against the first principle: "Avoid full Mathematica symbolic evaluation process as much as possible." The bottleneck is simplifying the resulting expressions to something that I can read. $\endgroup$ – jvriesem Mar 6 '15 at 21:22

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